Ghibli Park, which opened on November 1, brings some of the most beloved characters and scenes from the studio’s animations to life inside Aichi Earth Expo Memorial Park — the former grounds of Expo 2005.
Partially dormant since then, some pre-existing infrastructure, such as the large building at the park’s entrance, has been repurposed by the Ghibli Park project that spans almost seven hectares (17 acres) out of the almost 200 hectares that make up Moricoro Park.
The theme park is divided into five areas: Hill of Youth, Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, Dondoko Forest, Mononoke’s Village, and the Valley of Witches — all of which are inspired by the studio’s most famous films. Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse is the main park area. For now, the first three spaces are open to the public while the latter two will open next year.
It’s a large indoor “town” filled with streets, exhibits, and famous scenes from Studio Ghibli’s films including the Robot Soldier from “Castle in the Sky” and a real-size Catbus from “Totoro.” A cinema plays shorts that are exclusively available in the new park and at Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. There are also kid’s playrooms, retro streets, gift shops, and two cafes. The second area now open to visitors is Hill of Youth, where guests can find the antique shop from “Whisper of the Heart,” a romantic musical, and its spinoff film “The Cat Returns.” It’s also a vantage point offering a panoramic view of the park.
According to Ghibli Park officials, both Mononoke Village and the Valley of Witches will open in 2023. Visitors can only access the park by reserving tickets online. The number of visitors is limited to 5,000 people per day. Tickets are already sold out till the end of 2022, and online reservations from abroad are not expected to be open until early 2023.
According to CNN/DW